Spider-Man: No Way Home Writers Explain Emma Stone & Kirsten Dunst Absences

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Spider-Man, No Way Home, Gwen, MJ, Emma Stone, Kirsten Dunst

Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home has been a dream come true for fans worldwide. People live in a timeline where Alfred Molina got to return as Doc Ock, Tobey Maguire finally got to have his back adjusted, and Andrew Garfield saved MJ as personal redemption for his past—all in one film. That's just a fraction of what Tom Holland's latest outing as Peter Parker offered.

It's hard to believe that a film jam-packed with so much content has not only become one of the most successful movies of all time but also happens to be legitimately great—at least, according to both critics and fans.

Juggling five returning villains, two greatly missed Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the introduction of the Multiverse, and the rest of Tom Holland’s usual MCU crew seems to come easy for the film.

As exciting as all of that was, some rumored returning faces never made the cut, among those being Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson.

While Stone has been silent, Dunst recently spoke out saying that she hadn't been contacted but that she’d love to do another superhero film.

Is there a world where fans might have seen either, or both, of them return to the fold?

The Absence of Stone & Dunst in No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home Emma Stone, Kirsten Dunst

In an interview with Variety, Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna commented on how they handled juggling so many elements in the film.

McKenna made it clear that “it required very, very talented people to help [them] not die at the end:”

“Let’s write the script that is the kitchen sink, and we’ll just act like we were going to get everything we wish for… and like Peter’s wish, it became a nightmare, and it required very, very talented people to help us not die at the end.”

At one point, big names such as Emma Stone and Kirsten Dunst were rumored to appear. Was there ever a world where they did?

According to the writer, “[they] went down different roads with different characters that just didn't fit:” 

“We went down different roads with different characters that just didn’t fit… we can’t get into the details of that because it might be the kind of thing where they’ll find a way to explore those ideas. So I’d hate to spoil anything because I think we had a lot of fun.”

Sommers chipped in, saying how they definitely “bit of more than [they] could chew” while writing the first draft:

“The first draft, we bit off more than we could chew… some would argue that we still bit off more than we can chew.”

No Gwen or Mary Jane for Spider-Man

It's hard to imagine the possibility of even more people showing up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, something Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige agrees with. It's a miracle it all worked out in the first place.

With the final story seen on screen, there doesn't seem to be a great place for either Gwen or MJ to have appeared in the first place. 

Having them join alongside their Spider-Men would have detracted from Tom Holland’s emotional crisis—and they also wouldn't really have anything to do, not to mention Gwen is supposed to be dead.

Andrew Garfield’s Peter still dealing with the trauma of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a powerful element of the film, one which would have been heavily hampered by any appearance of Emma Stone.

Though, when it comes to Stone, rumors indicate that Sony Pictures may be actively looking into making a Spider-Gwen project—so don't be surprised if she shows up again within the next few years.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters worldwide.


- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.